International human rights organization Equality Now is launching a global campaign calling on the government of Japan to ban RapeLay, a game that engages the player in actively simulating sexual assault and rape of a woman and her two daughters. A schoolgirl traveling on a commuter train is followed by a man who gropes and sexually molests her. The train stops and she runs frightened into a public toilet, followed by her assailant who handcuffs and rapes her. Later the assailant imprisons the girl, her sister, and mother and repeatedly rapes them in various locations until they begin to enjoy it. When one of them gets pregnant he must force her to have an abortion or he will be killed by one of the girls. This is the premise of RapeLay, a rape simulation computer game produced by Illusion Software and sold by Amazon and others in Japan. (emphasis mine)This highlighted element of this game is more dangerous than simply having the player be a rapist. This is about more than stereotypes, this helps rapists and others view actions rape victims take to try to save their own lives or to reduce their trauma as being proof that the victim enjoyed being raped.
Unfortunately, elements of RapeLay and similar games reflect a grim reality in Japan. A 2004 survey found that 64% of women in their 20s and 30s had been molested by a groper in the public transport system, which sets the scene for the storyline in RapeLay. The myth that if a rape victim does not fight back she wanted” to be raped is encouraged by RapeLay. For a rape charge to be successful in Japan, it is up to the victim to prove she did not consent to sexual intercourse, which means that judges look for evidence of resistance put up by the victim.The relationship between attitudes highlighted in the criminal justice system and the attitudes supported in video games is important. The resistance requirement in criminal prosecutions falls into the trap that anything less than a struggle can be treated as legal consent.
We reveal who we are in many ways. Those who get a kick out of playing RapeLay may not commit rape, but their tolerance for rape helps those who do rape.
The explicit game I would love to see is one where sexual harassment, abuse and rape resulted in the player being jailed and the winners are those who can successfully navigate equal sexual relationships.
Labels: Violence Against Women